Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Maybe It's Not So Common Sense




It was 6:45 p.m. on Saturday night; my husband and three children would be walking in through that back door coming home from the pool -- starving -- within seconds. And I had no dinner on the table; not only no dinner but I wasn't even close to being ready for them to be home yet. After years of marriage, I automatically jumped into action. Quickly scooping out a teaspoonful of minced garlic in olive oil, I tossed it into a small pyrex bowl and started the microwave.

15 ... 10 ... 5 ... 0 ... bing. Voila! I open the microwave door and let the smells of what could be interpreted as someone hard at work in the kitchen fill the air. Next, I pull the kitchen stools up on top of the island to give a semblance of the floors having just been washed. Taking the vacuum cleaner out of the hallway closet, I set it in the middle of the living room--laying flat on the ground, as if I had been interrupted by say, someone walking in?

Common sense illusions, setting the stage like the famous Rice Krispies Treats Faker Mom commercial, showing how busy and dedicated I was all day while they were out. That's how you do it. Everyone knows this, don't they?

This past weekend, while zapping the garlic in the microwave, the thought occurred to me: maybe my fellow bloggers that I love so much DON'T know how it's done.

So I'm sharing with all of you today, because I love you:

Super fast tricks and stagings, to make it look like You are worth your weight in gold:

--Pull laundry out of the dryer and don't let it sit in the basket; instead spread it out on the front room floors and sofa, to show you were just working on it when they walked in.

--Always keep an 8-qt pot with water on the stove and a wooden spoon near by. At the first sound of a doorknob jiggling, run to the stove and start stirring. I swear, from behind you'll look exactly like you're making soup.

--Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., always have your hair pulled up in a work ponytail and an apron on your body. Looking dressed and ready for the job.

-- Keep some Windex, a roll of paper towels, a toilet scrub brush, and a bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles in a plastic shoebox container under every single sink in the house. When you hear someone come home, pull out the box and set it up outside of the bathroom door, looking like you're in the middle of scrubbing those stubborn hard water stains.

--At all times during the day, have a cutting board on the kitchen counter or island, a knife along side, and an onion or tomato chopped in half with a few wedges to the side. Looks like you are in the midst of something really good.

--Keep a notebook and pen in a handy place near the phone. If you have only a few seconds notice that someone is about to walk in, grab the notebook, pen, and phone; sit down in a chair, and play out an exasperating phone call to an insurance company. Rub your face with your hand and let them see you roll your eyes. Your significant other will be so grateful that you've saved them from these hell's fires that they'll blow you kisses as they walk past you.

--Never lay in the backyard hammock or chaise without your gardening gloves on, kneeling pad close by, and a paper bag with a few token weeds inside. The stage is set that; obviously, you're just taking a break from weeding, I mean: your gloves are on.

--And my most desperate ace in the back pocket that I save for when the day has been a total bust and it's only me to blame: I tie a scarf around my head with an ice pack underneath while wearing sunglasses in the house. The whole family knows the Migraine Get-Up, and no one dares ask "what did you do all day?" when they know it could get as ugly as a bear waking up early from hibernation. *note: it's not a lie if you don't ever say you have a migraine. I never say I have a migraine. This is one case where assume doesn't make an a** out of u or me.

Sneaky, yes. Worth it? You got it. Does it work? My husband and children reply with this, when describing me, "She works so hard for all of us. Really. She's always working. We hit the jackpot."

You know what they say about the best relationships; both sides feel like they got the better end of the deal.

And now I've got to get to bed: big plans tomorrow; Meg Ryan Marathon on TMC. Setting up the minced garlic as we speak.



Image via photopin
********************************************************************

**An internet friend I've known for almost two years now, the wonderfully real Erin Margolin, is recovering from surgery. She's called in a few reinforcements to lighten the load for her while she recuperates. I am proud to be helping Erin heal, and I have a post there today, on something in my life I never anticipated.

I hope to see you there, and I know you'll love meeting Erin, from The Road To My Writer Roots.

43 comments:

  1. That house of cards you describe kinda made me tired just reading all your many sneaky ways. I think I like Jack Handy's simple reason for not being able to help other people. He walks around holding two bags all day, and when someone asks him to assist in something, he holds up the bags and says, "but I've got these bags." So simple. So effective.

    I bet sometimes though, that despite your desire to put on a facade, you inadvertently actually complete some of the tasks that you're trying to pretend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neal: did you see my labels/tags? "This is a humor blog" "Not everything you read here is true" "I'm kidding"

      I'm sorry if you believed this...I write for fun, I kid a lot, I'm joking. I try to make people laugh.

      Delete
    2. Empress, I totally got that...I thought your post was funny, which is why I commented. With what I thought was a humorous jab, but I don't always hit home runs. But you gotta admit, the two bags idea is a great one.

      And the last bit of my comment was just to suggest I think you're a good mother, whatever else your humor jokes about. So, high fives!

      Delete
  2. Oh you are a smart and sneaky one, you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I should incorporate some of these, to at least make it look like I might, possibly have been doing something, other than being on the computer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shhhh! Don't dare give away our actual vacuum suck of a time hole that the computer is.

      Shhhhh!

      Delete
  4. haha...you are awesome....i need to work on my set up better....maybe put some grease on my forehead, keep some grass in a baggy to sprinkle on my feet.....seriously you are on to something here...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh all this comes too easily to you, B.

      xo

      Delete
  5. Very very brilliant. Thanks for sharing this. I should pin this to use should one day I have a family of my own again hahaha. Love you, Empress!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So good to see you, my sweet lady. How are you??

      Delete
  6. Carrying a broom or file folders are two more helpful ideas. When I only need to fool my children, I tell them anyone who comes inside *must* help mommy deep clean the entire house, but anyone who stays outside may do whatever they like. Then I can read blogs for hours. (I just keep a file folder handy in case the other adult comes home.)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hilarious! I love it.

    FYI: My teenage son's favorite trick, when I've asked him to clean, is to swish some pine sol around...it makes it smell like he's been busy cleaning (When I know he's just been texting his girlfriend!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, tears in my eyes.

      You must be so proud.

      xo

      Delete
  8. Now I need some tips on how to look like you've been working hard at work.

    ReplyDelete
  9. haha. You are soooo sneaky, Empress!

    And here's another one: don't do your hair or makeup and don't put on a bra. It shows how dedicated you are to Meg Ryan...I mean, your family ;-P

    xoxo
    SS

    ReplyDelete
  10. This post reminded me of something. Specifically the garlic in the bowl. I've been making chili for a 100 years. Real garlic, hot sauce, chili powder, onions etc. And I always have to update it along the cook time. Add more pepper, more hot sauce etc. Then the last time I didn't have any real garlic, just the chopped in the jar kind. I added a substantial amount and never had to update the chili ONCE! It came out perfectly!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dear Lord you read my mind. Annnnnd just stole a post I have in my drafts folder...
    ;-)

    Such good advice! Especially for women whose husbands don't read blogs! They'll never know.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hahaha this is fantastic. I do some version of this and I didn't even know it! If I manage to clean up a bit, I leave the cleaner bottles on the counter so my husband will see. I also tend to always leave a load of clothes in the dryer, and at bedtime I ask, "You want to handle bedtime duties, or go grab the laundry from the dryer?" Gets me out of bedtime every time! Some great ideas here, esp. with the garlic. I hate that look on my husband's face when he gets home and I haven't started cooking, he knows something "lame" is probably on the menu. He'd never actually complain, he's smarter than that, but that LOOK.

    ReplyDelete
  13. HA! This is awesome. Thanks for the tips, Alexandra, I know they'll come in handy some day.

    Also reminds me that I don't think I've ever walked into my parents' home without seeing clothes laid out on the living room sofa. I see what's going on here...

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  14. Funny timing of this post. I may have just found the one advantage of single parenting.

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  15. The minced garlic - genius! As for me, I am always unloading the dishwasher in my family. It never ends. Or so my husband thinks.

    Love you, Empress!

    ps - migraines, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow, I never thought of the Migraine Get-Up. *takes notes* Thanks, pal.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You are clever and crafty beyond your years! More power to you to achieve a well deserved moment to yourself. Your humor is one of a kind and I haven't found anyone quite like you in the Blogosphere! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a nice thing to say. Thank you.

      Delete
  18. Omg this is GENIUS. How did I not know about this? You have opened up a whole new world to me. I am bowing down to you as we speak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Naah...that wouldn't be called a bad influence, would it?

      Just sharing the knowledge...xo

      Delete
  19. I don't think my husband has ever come home from work when I wasn't standing at the sink up to my elbows in suds. That's because my dog can tell when his car turns onto the street. I watch the dog over the top of the novel that I'm sprawled on the couch reading. When the dog moves, so do I.

    But these are good. The cut onion especially. Gonna do that right now then get back to my book.

    ReplyDelete
  20. ha! i do something similar at work: pretend to be busy. but i'm not fooling anyone:)
    hope you are having a great summer, doll.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ed, it is wonderful to see you!! On my way to visit you now. I know I'll find wonderful there when I do.

      Really good to see you, Ed.

      Delete
  21. Damn. I wish I had migraines.
    Thank you, oh wise one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one says you have to :have: them. xo

      Delete
  22. I have a few tricks of my own. When my husband goes outside to mow or something, I jump on the computer. Then when I hear the basement door open I jump up and hurry to the kitchen sink, turn on the water and start rinsing the dishes. Or I'll make a quick dash to the laundry room and act like I'm in there working.

    I can't blog about this because he reads my blog so it feels so good to confess here! :)

    I'm going to have to try some of your tricks too.

    ReplyDelete
  23. You are absolutely genius.
    I may or may not have used some of these already :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not you, my delicate flower of a mother. Not you. This kind of stuff is left for us tired old hags. xo

      Delete
  24. Yes, you are a genius, and I will start using these tips TOMORROW. Bonus? Like you said, it's not lying if nobody asks.

    I'm feeling so much better about myself already.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah. You do?? GOOD. Because you, on twitter, ALWAYS make me feel better about myself.

      xo

      Delete
  25. A deep curtsey at the hem of your garment, oh wise Empress. I plan to start getting appreciated up in here later today!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I giggled reading this - mine is the ole garlic and onion in olive oil trick. People think they've walked into a restaurant.

    ReplyDelete

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